music clip of the day


Category: classical

Wednesday, May 27th

Sit back. Close your eyes. Listen—just listen.

Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827), Piano Sonata No. 21 in C major (“Waldstein”); Emil Gilels (1916-1985), live



reading table

My boys.

I don’t have them to hold. What do I do with my arms?

—Sonali Deraniyagala, Wave

Saturday, May 16th

There are a handful of pianists whose every note I’m hungry to hear—he’s one.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791), Sonata No. 8 in A Minor; Dinu Lipatti (1917-1950), recording, 1950




art beat

Bruce Davidson (1933-), Palisades, New Jersey, 1958


Thursday, May 14th

Whether you live for 50 years, 500 years, or 5,000 years, it makes no difference: always there are new things to hear.

Dieter Ammann (1962-), Violation (1999); Lemanic Modern Ensemble (William Blank, cond.) with Karolina Öhman, cello; live, Russia (St. Petersburg), 2014



reading table

The old pond—
a frog jumps in,
sound of water.

—Matsuo Basho (1644-1694; translated from Japanese by Robert Hass)

Monday, May 11th

career plans for the next life

Maybe, instead of those other things (tap dancer, rubboard player in a zydeco band, bass player in a reggae band, guitar player in a Malian band, cellist in a string quartet), I’ll be a bird.

John Luther Adams (1953-), songbirdsongs (1974-80), Callithumpian Consort (Stephen Drury, dir.), recording (2012)


art beat

Tony Fitzpatrick (1958-), Lunch Drawing #48: A Bird for Bruce Lee


Saturday, April 25th

Sometimes nothing is more enlivening than to hear something that sounds like nothing you’ve ever heard before.

Rebecca Saunders (1967-), Fury II (2009); Remix Ensemble (Emilio Pomarico, cond.; Antonio Augusto Aguiar, bass), live, Portugal (Porto), 2011




reading table

after the dance
right away, cutting
the morning grass

—Kobayashi Issa (1763-1827; translated from Japanese by David G. Lanoue)

Saturday, April 18th

never enough

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750), Suite No. 3 in C major for Unaccompanied Cello; Anner Bylsma, live, 2000



art beat: Thursday at the Art Institute of Chicago

Paul Gauguin (1848-1903), Vase in the Form of an Exotic Plant, 1886/87

Style: "Japanese baskets"


Thursday, April 16th


Lee Hyla (1952-2014), String Quartet No. 4 (1999); Spektral Quartet, live, Northwestern University (Evanston, Ill.), 2011

Monday, April 6th

Need a jolt?

Felipe Lara (1979-), Corde Vocale (2006)
Mivos Quartet, live (studio performance), New York, 2013

This I listened to for the first time yesterday. Then I listened again. And again.




Tuesday is the centennial of Billie Holiday’s birth and WKCR (Columbia University) is celebrating in the best possible way, featuring her music all day tomorrow and, because twenty-four hours just aren’t enough, the next day too.


taking a break

I’m taking some time off—back in a while.

Saturday, March 21st


John Cage (1912-1992), In a Landscape (1948)
Anton Batagov (1965-, piano), live, Moscow, 2014



art beat: yesterday at the Art Institute of Chicago 

Paul Cezanne, The Bay of Marseilles, Seen From L’Estaque, c. 1885


This, too, I never tire of.

Thursday, March 19th


Turgut Ercetin (1983-), String Quartet No. 1 (“December”); The Jack Quartet, live, Stanford University, 2011



reading table

Lacan said that there was surely something ironic about Christ’s injunction to love thy neighbour as thyself—because actually, of course, people hate themselves.


We know almost nothing about ourselves because we judge ourselves before we have a chance to see ourselves.


Self-criticism is an unforbidden pleasure: we seem to relish the way it makes us suffer.

—Adam Phillips, “Against Self-Criticism,” London Review of Books, 3/5/15


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